Zabaglione? Sabayon? It’s delicious in every language

By Jim Bailey

What’s the difference between zabaglione and sabayon?Yankee Chef logo Absolutely nothing! Besides the former an Italian translation of the latter, which is a French translation of the former … you know what I mean.
The original recipe calls for whole eggs, while the more contemporary thinking is using egg yolk only. I find both to be perfect, that way I will either hear criticism from both sides of the aisle, or none at all.
Traditionally served with fresh figs in a tall Champagne glass in Italy, it is seen as the perfect topping for all fresh fruit and berries. Or simply pour the custard in a side bowl and dip if you want. Regardless of how you enjoy it, just enjoy it. It’s Just That Simple!

Lemon zabaglione with berries.

Lemon zabaglione with berries.

Zabaglione, sabayon

4 eggs
4 egg yolks
1 1/2 cups granulated or powdered sugar
1 cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/4 cup cold butter or margarine, cut in small pats
4 cups assorted berries
2 cups cubed pound or angel food cake

In a large metal bowl that fits snugly onto a saucepan, whisk together the eggs, egg yolks, sugar, lemon juice and zest. Set this bowl over your saucepan that has a couple of inches of water gently boiling over medium-low heat. Whisk infrequently until you notice the mixture becoming hot, then continuously whisk until it becomes thick, about 6 to 8 minutes.
Turn off the heat and add the butter, a pat or two at ta time, and whisk until all the butter is incorporated and the sabayon is thick and creamy. Remove from heat, carefully pour into a bowl and cover with film wrap. You can either enjoy this sauce while warm or let it cool in the refrigerator until completely cold. Remove from fridge and whisk again until smooth.
To assemble, equally divide the berries and cake cubes among four desserts dishes, pour the lemon zabaglione over the top of each (the amount is up to you) and top with more berries.

Yankee Chef book coverSchiffer Books of Pennsylvania has released Jim Bailey’s new book The Yankee Chef: Feel Good Food for Every Kitchen. It contains more than 550 traditional New England comfort-food recipes tweaked for today’s palates with hundreds of kitchen tips and food facts. The hardback book is 312 pages and contains 200 color images. Its ISBN is 978-0-7643-4191-5 and the cost is $34.99. The book can be ordered through Misty Valley Books, 802-875-3400.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Filed Under: Community and Arts LifeThe Yankee Chef

About the Author: Jim Bailey is a third generation Yankee Chef, New England food historian and newspaper columnist. His first cookbook, simply titled The Yankee Chef, has been published. He welcomes all feedback, questions or comments at

RSSComments (0)

Trackback URL

Comments are closed.